By Colin MacGillivray
A BROADFORD resident has questioned the effectiveness of noise restriction enforcement in Mitchell Shire while encouraging Glenaroua residents to oppose a proposed motorsport facility in the region.
A planning permit application lodged with Mitchell Shire Council by company Drift Republic proposes a drift training facility at a property on Broadford-Glenaroua Road.
The application is for a 700-metre circuit track to accommodate the motorsport known as drifting, wherein drivers intentionally oversteer while maintaining control of the car to slide around corners.
Broadford’s Henry Marszalek said he had long been frustrated with council’s handling of noise complaints at motorsport facilities after what he described as frequent run-ins with the Broadford Motorcycle Complex.
He said he feared Glenaroua residents near the proposed drift training facility would also butt heads with the drift complex owners if it was built.
“I live about two kilometres north of the motorbike track … and I own a property directly opposite as well,” he said.
“Council doesn’t check on them, and not just noise, but all aspects of compliance, so it’s entirely up to them to police themselves, which they don’t really do.
“While I don’t live in Glenaroua where this new facility is proposed, I’m concerned it will be more of the same for them – nobody is going to police it and I’m sensitive of the fact that the community over there is going to have to endure what we’ve endured here.”
An assessment by Octave Acoustics – a company engaged by Drift Republic to support its permit application – said it was expected vehicles would generally be on the track between 8am and 6pm on weekends and public holidays.
It said the facility would primarily be used by the residents of the property, as well as their acquaintances, for training purposes.
But Mr Marszalek said the facility could be used more frequently.
“According to the application there may be up to 16 cars and operate seven days a week 8am to 6pm,” he said.
“They will emit noise levels of 95dBA. Neighbouring properties should be aware of the fact that this level of noise will travel many kilometres, particularly over flat ground which is the case at Glenaroua.”
Mitchell Shire Council chief executive Brett Luxford said council had already ‘received a large number of submissions’ on the planning permit application.
He said a report on the permit would be considered at a future council meeting.
“Noise management will be a key consideration when assessing the permit application. It is a standard approach on many planning permits to have noise management measures in place and to specify noise monitoring requirements,” he said.
Mr Luxford said council was satisfied with the current system of monitoring noise levels required by permit applications
“The current planning permit requires the Broadford Motorcycle Complex to monitor noise with a licenced noise level monitoring professional at the venue and to provide quarterly reports to council,” he said.
“Council is satisfied that these requirements are being met and that pro-active measures are being taken by the operators to meet their noise management obligations.
“We prefer to work with owners and operators in the first instance to help them meet their noise management obligations.
“Infringements and fines can be issues. This is only usually done when there are clear and ongoing breaches of planning conditions or where there is an urgent public health risk.”
A representative of Drift Republic listed on the planning permit application did not respond to the Review’s enquiries before press time.
Submissions on the Glenaroua planning permit closed on June 21. People can view the application and supporting documents at bit.ly/3xb5jRx.